Charles Michael Deese"73
Charles Michael Deese came to Davidson all the way from Thomas Jefferson High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — but the distance between the two was seemingly negligible. Mike’s grandparents lived only 20 miles from the Davidson campus, and his father was a graduate of a North Carolina university a few hours away. So perhaps his arrival in North Carolina was inevitable. On his application to Davidson, he noted that when he toured campus, he was favorably impressed by the fine faculty and educational facilities, as well as Davidson’s ties to the church.
While at Davidson, Mike epitomized the “man about campus.” He was a member of ROTC and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was on the Wildcat Handbook staff, a member of the Davidson Christian Fellowship, and a member of the campus Young Republicans, an ironic precursor to his current membership in the Democratic Party. He belonged to the Phi Eta Sigma honorary society and was a McConnell Scholar. Mike also studied abroad in Davidson’s famed Marburg, Germany program. Somehow he found time to participate in club football and soccer… and played flickerball, barefoot, on the Chambers lawn. And in this special year of Davidson basketball, we remember that Mike also played freshman ball.
After graduating with a degree in political science, Mike received his master’s degree in international relations as well as his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His law career has taken him to Washington, D.C., where he is a partner with Howe & Hutton, representing national and international nonprofit trade associations and professional societies.
Mike may have moved halfway back to the town of his youth, but he has never truly left Davidson. He has been an active and enthusiastic Davidson alumnus, chairing his 20th, 25th, and today’s 35th reunions, working with the Annual Fund as a class agent, and serving on the Dean Rusk International Studies Program Advisory Council. Mike served as president of the Alumni Association and, as such, served on the Davidson College Board of Trustees. He has hosted many events for prospective students through his work with the Davidson Alumni Recruitment Team, and has helped Davidson graduates start their careers in the Washington, D.C., area.
Mike’s commitment to Davidson extends beyond his time and energy. His generous gifts resulted in a physical presence as well, as Mike honored two Davidson mentors with named offices in the renovated Chambers and in the new home of the Dean Rusk Program.
Mike, you are a man of many facets: husband to Pamela… father to Spencer, Chad and Kendall… an elder in your church… youth soccer and tee-ball coach… avid golfer and Davidson basketball fan… and forever a Wildcat.
Because your enthusiastic support of Davidson inspires others to follow your lead, because your warmth and humor make all who know you call you a friend, because you are dedicated to using your talents in support of alma mater, and because you always respond graciously to Davidson’s call, we honor you, Charles Michael Deese, with the Alumni Service Award on the occasion of your 35th reunion with the Class of 1973, this 26th day of April, 2008.